Juventus vs Real Madrid Preview: Real Madrid looking to make Champions League history against tough Old Lady

2 June 2017 | 10:58 am

Juventus vs Real Madrid Preview: Real Madrid looking to make Champions League history against tough Old Lady

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Above: Juventus and Real Madrid will battle it out for the Champions League title in Cardiff | Photo: Getty Images

Real Madrid will be handed the opportunity to create history on Saturday night as the first side to retain the Champions League trophy, but will face a tough test in Juventus as they battle it out for the coveted title in Cardiff. 

Looking to banish their demons 

Juventus have dominated in their own country for some time, but Massimiliano Allegri will be keen to lead his side to European glory and assert themselves as one of the continent’s strongest sides. 

It has been excellent campaign but domestically and in the Champions League, as they wrapped the Serie A title with relative ease and will look to spoil Madrid’s fiesta on Saturday night. 

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Their defence has especially shone throughout this season’s campaign, conceding just three goals en route to Cardiff. They seemingly had a tough test in reaching the Welsh capital after pairing up with the exciting Monaco in the semi-finals. 

The young side had been taking the continent by storm knocking out Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund out in the previous rounds, millennial marvel Kylian Mbappé put a dent in their defensive armour but it was the Old Lady who went through with their 4-1 aggregate victory. 

On more than one occasion Juventus have always been the bridesmaid and never the bride when it has come to European finals. They have lost their four in the Champions League era which included in 1998 against Madrid and 2015 against Real’s bitter rivals Barcelona, but Allegri will be looking to rectify that this time around. 

History knocking on the door of the Galácticos 

The Champions League is once again becoming a common occurrence for Los Blancos, having appeared in three of the last four showcase finals. They will be looking to make this their third title in three. 

It has been an excellent season for Zinédine Zidane’s men as they secured their first La Liga title in five years over rivals Barca, and will be looking to be the history makers in Cardiff. 

Not since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990 has someone retained Europe’s most coveted prize, and here they are handed the chance to do so after a repeat of last season’s final against city rivals Atletico Madrid in the semis. 

Their passage seemed all but sealed with their 3-0 first-leg at the Santiago Bernabéu and they suffered a slight scare with a comeback from Diego Simeone’s men in the second-leg, but pulled one back to hold out at the Vicente Calderón for a 4-2 aggregate victory. 

Team news 

Allegri will have the boost of having a fully fit squad to pick from, with his main selection headache coming in the midfield.

Sami Khedira will be fit for selection having played in the last league match against Bologna, the German will battle both Miralem Pjanić and Claudio Marchisio for a starting place at the Principality Stadium.

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Mario Mandžukić is also expected to return to the XI, while Marko Pjaca and Daniele Rugani will remain the only injury concerns that Allegri will have. 

The biggest decision for Zidane will be whether or not he will bring Gareth Bale back into the fold for his homecoming gig, the Welshman has been missing since the end of April and has been replaced by Isco.

The Spaniard has thrived in Bale’s absence, scoring the decisive goal in the last round, and it could prove to be a crucial decision going forward for Bale’s possible future at the Galácticos. 

Right-back Dani Carvajal is also expected to be fit for selection in a fully fit squad for the Frenchman. 

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